Matthew Donovan: USAF to Reactivate 420th Flight Test Squadron for B-21 Program

Jeff Brody

The U.S. Air Force intends to reactivate the squadron that performed the pre-operational tests of the B-2 Spirit aircraft to support the flight test phase for the military service's future B-21 Raider bomber plane. B-21 prime contractor Northrop Grumman is building the test aircraft at a production facility in Palmdale, Calif., the Air Force said Monday.

"The first flight of the Raider will take it from Palmdale to Edwards AFB, where the legacy of excellence will continue with the reactivation of the 420th Flight Test Squadron," said Acting USAF Secretary Matthew Donovan.

USAF noted it collects feedback from the intelligence community as part of the B-21 program security evaluation process. The Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office and the 420th Flight Test Squadron will collaborate to deploy the long-range bomber aircraft.

Ellsworth AFB in South Dakota, Whiteman AFB in Missouri and Dyess AFB in Texas were chosen as the preferred Raider operating base locations.

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